AutoZone net income climbs in Q3

New York City AutoZone reported on Tuesday that strong sales of automotive replacement parts and several new store openings helped drive net income up 17% in its fiscal third quarter.

The company said its net income rose to $202.7 million in the three months ended May 8, from $173.7 million a year ago. Meanwhile, revenue climbed 10% to $1.82 billion, from $1.66 billion a year ago.

Same-store sales rose 7.1%. The company posted higher merchandise margins, citing a shift to more profitable products and lower product purchase costs. Inventory rose 2.1% due to new store openings.

AutoZone has been thriving during the recession as more drivers opt to repair their existing cars on their own instead of buying new ones.

"Customers continue to shop our stores in some cases out of economic necessity, or simply to save money," CEO Bill Rhodes said during a conference call. "This represents an opportunity for our industry overall. As long as cars continue to get older and need ongoing maintenance our industry will be in a strong position.”

AutoZone opened 21 new stores in the United States and 10 in Mexico during the quarter, bringing its total store count to 4,309 stores the United States and 212 in Mexico.